A few weeks ago, my boyfriend’s half-sister reposted a blog on Facebook about Oil Pulling. Slightly disgusted and vaguely intrigued, I clicked the link-thinking that the blog post would be about how to get rid of pimples or make my hair less greasy. To my surprise the article was about an alternative method of cleaning teeth-an alternative to brushing.
Having been a big teeth brushing and flossing enthusiast for most of my life, I was intrigued. According to the article, oil pulling was supposed to make my mouth healthier, cleaner, and my teeth whiter. Even though most of my friends and family would agree that my teeth are pretty white, I am always looking for gentle ways of whitening my teeth. What interested me even further, were the benefits to my mouth and gums-since I’m currently pregnant and morning sickness can wreak havoc on your mouth.
The next day, I found myself at Whole Foods browsing for coconut oil as the blog said that coconut oil was the preferred oil for these sorts of things. In the twenty minutes between Whole Foods and the University I was doing business at for the day, I placed about a tablespoon of coconut oil into my mouth and began to swish it back and forth.
Strangely, I had forgotten to brush my teeth that morning, so it was the perfect opportunity to try oil pulling. When I first placed the oil into my mouth I wasn’t a huge fan of the texture. Coconut oil is fairly thick, but has a low melting point so it began to melt quickly and glide through my teeth smoothly. I also wasn’t a huge fan of the taste. Although I like coconut, coconut oil tastes more like coconut water-which I hate. It took longer to get over the taste, but I dealt with it. As the oil melted in my mouth and the saliva gathered, it became really hard to swish-driving is probably not the best time to try this-but luckily I had an empty cup from earlier.
The twenty minutes went by fairly quickly and before I knew it I was at the University and my time was up. I spat the rest of the oil into the cup-if you use a drain, it will clog. From my parking spot I looked up at my teeth in the rearview mirror and to my surprise, they did actually look whiter. My teeth did not, on the other hand, feel cleaner and when I arrived home, I still brushed them-and flossed. When I read a little bit further on the topic, I found that the primary benefit might be to the gums rather than the actual teeth. So ultimately, I think the benefits to my gums and whitening aspects make the investment of around $8 worth the cost, but I won’t be replacing my toothbrush and toothpaste anytime soon and according to the dentist an article posted by Jezebel, neither should you.